Politicians and the electorate

This posting on my blog, Your Freedom and Ours is definitely about British politics. We are in a very peculiar situation. There is a deep disenchantment with the main parties, particularly the junior partner in the Coalition, the Liberal-Democrats (known by me and my friends as the Lib-Dims); there is a growing understanding that the EU is generally bad news, which is not accompanied by a firm desire to leave; there is a small party that has been around for twenty years and ought to benefit from all this and yet UKIP is, despite the hype a couple of days ago, is getting nowhere. So I thought I’d have a go at analyzing the relationship between politicians and the electorate but I am hoping that the posting will generate a discussion.

4 thoughts on “Politicians and the electorate”

  1. I read your post and cannot help as I was completely surprised by Romney’s loss. At least I wasn’t the only one to be wrong as George Will, among others including Michael Barone, were just as wrong and have lots more experience and interest in politics than I. I was talking with my son as we moved some furniture today and he agrees that we can’t figure out what the voters, especially his siblings who voted for Obama, want. It seems to me that American voters, especially Democrats, have no interest in the harsh reality of life. In the 1930s, the public in the US and Britain (When did it become Britain and not England, by the way, but I digress.) had had experience with harsh reality. First it was the first World War, much more severe in its effects in Britain, then the Depression. As we head into another depression, and one that is avoidable, there seems little interest in the negative side of life. Both Britain and the US seem determined to dilute the population with immigrants who do not share the culture of the majority. In both cases, I suspect a political motive by the leftist party. Economics seems to hold little interest for the majority and education for most of the working classes is dismal.

    I’m stumped.

  2. I have no complete answer, but here are some observations that I think are factors. The generations since the boomers seem to have been increasingly raised with little attention to moral responsibilities, with families that were increasingly able and willing to shield them from consequences of poor decisions and behaviors, were able and willing to provide them great material comforts and entertainment with little effort on their part, no short run sacrifice for future accomplishment and low expectations. I believe this sets many of them up to accept at face value a paternalistic government, to have no serious conceptual thoughts, to view all questions based on the immediate impact on themselves and to attribute all adverse consequences to others. These attitudes lead many of them to buy into the progressive redistribution and statist worldview.

    Effectively addressing the lack of understanding, defective attitudes and lack of moral values of this large group is hard to imagine.


  3. It’s a question about the relationship between theory and practice. Theories are based on models because no one has a brain big enough to base a theory on reality.

    However when it comes time to put a theory into practice the outcomes are not exactly those predicted by the model because reality is more complicated than even a very complicated model.

    Some people solve problems by setting a very limited goal and then achieving it. Others think they fail to solve problems because they have many goals and fail to achieve all the goals at the same time.

    In America we have a winner take all system and our parties have multiple goals. In England you have government by coalition and therefore parties with a single goal. You get angry at parties that pursue one goal and ignore other important goals. We get mad because goals important to us never get proper emphasis in our winner take all 2 party system.

    Our founders invented a system using many states (the term ‘state’ was preferred to ‘department’ or ‘region’) each with a government with its own goals. It was hoped that people would vote with their feet and pick the government they liked best.

    We had a civil war that amended our constitution by replacing the idea of many different state governments with a winner take all Federal government.

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